Friday, 30 January 2015

The Lion King

I mentioned in my last post that we went to see The Lion King on Friday.

This is one of the few musicals I’ve never been to before so I really looking forward to it, especially as quite a few of my friends had recommended it.

I must admit I was intrigued as to how the animals would be portrayed as was my youngest who asked me how it would be done.

He recounted an amateur production of The Wizard of Oz where they used a real dog as Toto, and the dog did something he shouldn’t on the stage, much to the audience’s amusement, but not the cast I am sure. Anyway I said that I didn’t think they would be using real lions on the stage, that might just be a bit too unpredictable.

At first he thought he was going to be disappointed when he found out that the animals would actually be people dressed in costumes, but when they first appeared on stage he was so amazed that his eyes nearly popped out of his head.

The set design and the costumes were incredible and all credit needs to go to the wardrobe people who must have been working feverishly behind the scenes.  The giraffes were particularly amazing as the actors were on stilts, both on hands and feet so that they were bent over and the neck and head sat on top of their own heads.  It’s difficult to describe but it looked amazing and how they walked with such grace, I’ll never know. I think that giraffes are one of the most graceful animals and the actors mimicked that grace so well.  There was also a massive elephant and a baby elephant too which danced around with much delight.

The storyline was incredibly close to the film version (which we watched on Sunday) and all in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening – despite dosing the boys up with cough medicine in the interval.  I must admit though that for me the costumes and the set design were the real winners. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Struck Down

For over a week now our household has been struck down with an awful cold and cough bug which seems to have overtaken.

My eldest was the first to get it.  Uncaring mother that I am I dosed him up and sent him into school the day after he started with it as he was going on a school trip.  When he came back that afternoon he went straight to bed (unheard of) and spent the next two days off school (also unheard of) coughing and spluttering.

On Friday he was just about fit enough to go to school but my youngest was struck down and also had a day off school.

That night we were due to go and see The Lion King at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.  We had booked the tickets ages ago as a birthday treat for my mum and no one wanted to miss it (especially after paying so much for the tickets) so off we went.  At least half the theatre was coughing and spluttering so we weren’t the only ones spreading our germs.

On Sunday my husband was struck down and my youngest was still ill so didn’t go in on Monday either.

I’ve done my best to nurse them all through it, even though I have craved the peace and quiet that is our house when they are all at work and at school and just when I got them all well again I’ve been struck down too.

I’m trying to keep going – mums don’t have time to be ill after all, but I must admit I currently feel rotten.

Let’s hope in a few days’ time I’ll be feeling more normal and next week will be full of beans and able to concentrate on some writing again.  

Monday, 19 January 2015

Another Busy Weekend

Recovering from another busy weekend.  On Saturday we travelled up to Leeds to watch the football.  Setting out from Chester it was a glorious sunny day, but just the other side of Manchester and it felt like we had entered into another world with lots of sleet and snow.  Fortunately we were prepared with thermals, hats, scarves and gloves and my new coat which comes down to my knees and resembles a sleeping bag was definitely the order of the day.

We stayed over at the Crowne Plaza hotel which is a lovely hotel with swimming pool and where the staff are so nice that’s it’s an absolute pleasure to stay there.

We got absolutely drenched going into the stadium, which wasn’t a good start but fortunately the sun soon came out and it was dry for the rest of the game.

It was a very tense game.  Leeds started out well, but then an early penalty given to Birmingham resulted in a goal and for the rest of the game they were desperately trying to equalise.  They had plenty of chances but couldn’t quite seem to hit the target.  The referee wasn’t doing them any favours either and he seemed very biased towards Birmingham, much to the displeasure of the majority of fans who made their feelings quite clear.

Fortunately about ten minutes before the end of the match Leeds scored to equalise and then seemed to get a second wind. We ended up with a draw but it was a good result considering.

In the evening we went to an Italian restaurant close to the hotel and the boys were delighted to find that two of the players, Bellusci and Antenucci were dining there.  After a discrete enquiry with the waiter, they very kindly agreed to have a photo taken with the boys.  It really made their weekend!

They Boys with Antenucci

The next morning we went for a swim, had breakfast and then went to the Leeds Superstore on the way home where the boys bought some new kits with their Christmas money.

All in all a lovely way to spend the weekend.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

I Survived!

I have survived the birthday week and now life can really get back to normal!

Last Monday as it was my youngest’s birthday, we took him out for a meal at our local pub and a good time was had by all.

On Tuesday a restaurant down the road from us was having a 50% discount night so my husband booked us a table there as well – how decadent for the first week in January!  He’d told the staff that it was a birthday celebration and bless them they put balloons on the table and made a real fuss of the birthday boy.  The pudding came out with a sparkler and a song.

After eating a huge portion of fish and chips the young man found it a bit difficult to eat all the pudding so Mum had to help him out – well that’s what Mum’s are for aren’t they?

The rest of the week was business as usual but then on Friday we had a sleepover for four of his friends.  They all had a lovely time – although it was a trifle loud and not too easy to get five boys to sleep in one room, but thankfully they’d all had a busy week so eventually crashed out.

Saturday morning was more noise and then I took them to play football at a centre which has synthetic pitches.  They had a great time and I got to sit down with Writing Magazine and notebook for two whole hours – what bliss.

Then it was out for lunch and then eventually I managed to get them all back to their separate homes before crashing out on the sofa, completely exhausted.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Let's Celebrate! Again.

Yes, that's right I did say celebrate, for yesterday was my youngest son's 11th birthday.

I always feel sorry for him having a birthday when the rest of the world is getting back to normal after the long Christmas and New Year break. My stamina is usually a bit thin on the ground by this point and so I have to try really hard to make it exciting for him.

On Sunday his older half-brother took him to watch Chester FC play which he loved, despite the fact that they lost.  At half time his brother had arranged for his birthday to be announced over the loudspeaker - sadly he took that moment to visit the loo and missed it!

Yesterday was the first day back at school - a sigh of relief from me - but its a shame that his birthday so often falls on the first day back.

We went out for a meal last night though and then on Friday he's having a big sleepover - can anyone lend me some earplugs?

Apart from his birthday I've just booked an overnight stay in Leeds to watch the football (again) the following week - at least I get to stay in a nice hotel, and then the week after we're off to Manchester to see the Lion King.  

In between all that I'm hoping to get some work and writing done.

Looks like its going to be a busy old month!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone who is reading this a very happy New Year.

December for me is always a bit of right-off writing-wise as I struggle to prepare for Christmas and juggle everything else.  Each year I promise I won’t let myself be distracted from writing but I always am and this year was no exception.

Christmas Day passed by in such a rush I wondered, as usual, what all the effort was for and then on Boxing Day I came down with a cold/flu bug which is going around and which made me feel rubbish.

I did manage to see some family but not all although I recovered in time for New Year’s Eve.

I’m feeling very positive about 2015.  Last year, for many of my friends, 2014 was a horrible year which they were glad to see the back of.  It certainly had its down moments for me, but it was a bit of a non-descript year which seemed to slip through my fingers. I don’t feel I achieved anything I set out to at the beginning of the year.

That’s why I want this year to be different.  I have so many plans which is part of my problem, I tend to flit from one thing to another and it takes ages to get anything done.  This year I’m going to set myself a project to focus on each month, so that the temptation to get distracted is reduced (fingers’ crossed).

For January the project is a novel which is in its fifth draft.  It’s nearly ready to be sent out but not quite and so I’ve determined by the end of January it will be ready.  I’ve been working on some of the edits from my sickbed and so already have a momentum going which I hope to keep to throughout the month.

Instead of setting specific resolutions this year I only have one – and that is to dedicate more time to things I want to do not things I feel I need to do.  That’s my incentive to get writing more, to make this year count.

What do you hope to achieve in 2015?